Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

thought for today

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Christmas memories...

Enjoying the tree!

Reciting Christmas poems

Pastor Valodia and Lena

Spencer, Misha and Leeza

We had a party at church to celebrate as a large family and here are just a few shots from the evening. It is traditional for the little ones to dress in costumes and recite poetry.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

thought for today

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.

Eva K. Logue

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

today's sighting...

I saw a beautiful young blonde today taking out the trash. She was wearing a pair of high heeled knee high black leather boots and a fuzzy purple bathrobe!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Putin in the Olympics?

Putin may join Russian Olympic judo team

Published 20 December, 2009, 12:47

Edited 21 December, 2009, 16:16

The Russian Judo Olympic team may have a new member. It is none other than the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Talking with the national team on Friday, he applauded the team’s successes.

Moreover, the Prime Minister has offered his services to help the national judo team's Olympic dream.

Read more

“If you need hands-on assistance, you may enter me into the team,” Putin told the team’s coach.

The Russian Prime Minister advocates the development of judo in the country.

Vladimir Putin has a black belt in the martial art and competed at a high level in the USSR.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Praying for Polly

My friend Gillian's three year old daughter is having brain surgery today at 7:45 am CST in Chicago. She will be in surgery for about 3 hours... please join with me in lifting up this little one.

Grab This Button

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

thought for today

Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more."

~ Dr. Seuss (1904-1991), American author of children's books. From 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Visit to the Optometrist

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Spencer's glasses got broken so we had to take him to the optometrist to get new ones. We braved the snow and cold for a good cause. We were in and out with his new glasses in one hour!

Monday, December 14, 2009

First snow day!

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Our neighbors had their kids out on the playground in the snow... the little one on the sled was laughing pretty hard!

Friday, December 11, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Here in Russia the big holiday is New Year. That is when Ded Moroz comes and presents are given to one another. This is the tree at Krasnaya Ploshad, one of the shopping malls here in town.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

thought for today

“Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”

Oren Arnold

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

a little shopping at Metro

I went to Metro today with a my friend Katya. Metro is like Costco or Sam's. We didn't find the prices there to be cheaper than regular stores in town but there is a wider selection. And they have products imported from America that are not sold at other stores.

I picked up peanut butter, hot chocolate with marshmallows, Franks Hot Sauce and sweet potatoes. Now all I need is a recipe for Hot Wings and I will be a happy camper!

Monday, December 07, 2009

learning new expressions

Tom came home from Yakutia yesterday and we are so happy to have him home. He told us about an expression he heard there. If someone is totally irritating you and you have had it with their behavior to describe this situation you can say that the person is "sitting in your kidney."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Mops Craft time

Spencer worked for MOPS today. He helped the kids with the craft and kept them entertained while their parents met. Here are the fruits of his labor!
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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Where in the world is Tom?

This past week Tom has been in Yakutsk teaching on Codependency. He got there on Saturday and they have had him working each day since he arrived. He has been to the local rehab center, spoken to a group of youth and is teaching daily at one of the area churches.

Each day he sends us text messages to keep us updated on how things are going. Yesterday he told us that the day started off at -50 and warmed up to -47. Today he wrote to say that it was colder than yesterday but that he was afraid to know exactly what the temp was. Oh, by the way, the locals are telling him that it is not even winter yet.

If you Google "coldest city on earth" Yakutsk pops up... give it a try!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

thought for today

A fly cannot enter a closed mouth.
Russian Proverb

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Alida's Sweet Potato Pie

2 cups sweet potato, baked
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup fine granulated brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon sour cream
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked pie crust

1. Place baked sweet potato in bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, sour cream, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.

2. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

white sugar works well too
instead of cinnamon and nutmeg you can substitute 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
This is my favorite Holiday Pie...but, if you don't like sweet potatoes you can substitute them with cooked pumpkin!

Joann, let me know if you try it!!